Pictures by Walter

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Ennitoun – Update 5th April 2020

It is still an all change situation at Ennitoun.  When Susan and I started the layout in 2016 it we used the surviving coaches, engines etc from my layout in 1971. The majority of the stock was Tri-ang Hornby with some earlier Tri-ang locos (original black Princess Elizabeth and Princess Victoria), along with LNER & BR version of A1 Flying Scotsman and a type 37 Diesel locomotive .  A M7, Dockyard Shunter, and an old “Hornby Double 0 City of London  converted to two rail), Tri-ang Hornby B12 and Britannia.  It became apparent that the older Tri-ang and some of the Hornby-Tri-ang stock would not run on the newer finer scale rails – the points in particular caused them problems due to the wheels on these loco being a lot broader than modern.  Mind you that was no surprise as the earlier locos were really toys and not fine scale models so the wheels were broader to let little hands get the engines on the rails easily. Considering that in 2016 many of these locos were 45 years and in the case of the City of London 50 years old.  I was amazed that all ran straight from the storage boxes to track.  In addition to the original stock I had 3 locos purchased in  2002 3 Black Fives which changed Honby from a tour train to a precise model railway.  The detail was superb and the wheels were to scale.  3 version were released by Hornby LSM, Early BR Crest and Late BR Crest.  The latter was weathered to reflect the closing age of steam power on the railway.

The oldest loco was the converted Hornby Double 0 three rail loco.  This was heavy die cast metal body a frames it had no problem on the finer track.  I’m a Glesga keelie and an engine named City of London was not my favourite name.  The model did represent a class of express steam locomotives I admired.  I call them Coronations after the original streamlined loco 6220 Coronation. Now days the go by Coronation, Duchess Coronation and Princess Coronation – to me they will always be Coronations.  I had one particular favourite in that class BR Number 46242 “City of Glasgow”.  A good friend of Susan and myself , Paul James, undertook a repaint and renaming task and the “City of London” in BR Red became “City of Glasgow” BR Green later totem:

Ennitoun locomotive stock now numbers 65, 20 of them will be retired or sold on if they cannot meet new modifications as Ennitoun is going DCC (Digital Command Control) Adding this add so much more to the atmosphere of running a model rail layout.  As well as being able to control more that one train/loco at a time with one hand controller sound can be added to the locomotives when fitted with DCC decoder chip+sound.   To enable this change over the layout underwent a big P-way task.  The engineers were out in force replacing 37 Hornby points/turnouts and two diamond crossing to Peco points/crossings.  This solved one problem of older engines stalling at the points / crossings. After that task was completed all locos were tested on all routes – two of the older (Tri-ang) locos still failed… they have now been selected for the Ennitoun Railway Museum and will shortly be encased in their own highly desirable display case.

Of the 65 locos – 14 will not be used on DCC layout (they will undergo a conversion programme – currently held in abeyance due to current movement restrictions.  7 are undergoing Conversion and held in workshop again due to current movement restrictions. 8 are fully fitted with decoders some with sound they can be run on old system at present but without the sound <sigh>.  17 are DCC ready – i.e. they have the connections in place and they just need chips fitted. This will be done as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

However, before any DCC can be run the layout has to undergo another track replacement programme.  Under current operation if more that one loco shares a line it has to be isolated from the controller and that means isolation track has to be fitted.   In total there are 36 isolating tracks (approx 6″), this mean that all the 6 inch/12 inch track between the isolated track can be replaced with 36 inch continuous track, all points have to be made continuous power – thankfully that is a minor job using point clips which elevate the self isolating points problem (too expensive to replace all 60 points)

Timescale – task has started supplies of clips, DCC fitted locos available, DCC controller needs to be ordered so it is planned to have all completed by End of this month (April) failing that middle of May 2020.

Regarding the Hornby Double 0 City of Glasgow it is earmarked for a special display cabinet – however a special order has been placed for a new modern version.  One that has sound, DCC, smoke, crew, flickering fire box and operating oil lamps and in BR Green to take pride of place on revised Ennitoun layout.  Meantime there is still a City of Glasgow loco – only it is in LMS Wartime Black numbered 6242:

Just for my friends in Auld Reekie to keep them happy I  have 6241 City of Edinburgh as well:

Link to Ennitoun Motive Power Album

Click on image below

 


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Ennitoun (was All Change) – Update 27th February 2020

On the 29th December 2019 I added to the blog under the Title “All Change 12 Months on”.   Originally “All Change” was the blog regarding the  resurrection of  my childhood model railway.  Part 7 was published on 29th December 2019 1 year and a day after Part 6 which showed the changes from initial design up to the revised design started at end of 2018.  Alas, the January blog was the last due to Susan’s cancer becoming more aggressive and my (then) partner was in and out of hospital for the rest of the year.  Other blogs tell of our marriage on the 26th June 2019 and my wife’s sad passing on the 15th September 2019.  During all this time the layout languished for the want of attention.

One of our last outings was to the Perth Model Rail Show on Sunday 30th June 2019 where with the finance director’s agreement I purchased a new Hornby model

 

NBR J36 Maude 673

engine – Ex NBR J36 “Maude” an engine that has memories for both of us. Susan saw it at Haymarket Shed and I along with a school friend saw it at St Margaret’s shed when in BR ownership.   During our many chats Susan urged me to continue with the project and to stay with the Clydeside Model Rail Club we had joined. and not to mope.  Well I did mope, and still do at times it was so bad I was on the verge of abandoning it all until Sid took me to the Falkirk Model Rail Show in November 2019.  Well I walked around that show like a zombie – no interest in anything.  Sid suggested we head for a cuppa and we did.  During our tea break the conversation went to how I first got interested in model rail.  A long story – too long to tell here, but a surprising statement came from me.  It came about as I mentioned that I never did get a modern model of the engine that started me off on model railways, no, not the “City of Glasgow”.  The first train set I bought with my own money was an express passenger set of three coaches hauled by a toy train ex LMS Princess class loco “Princess Elizabeth” I have it still up in the attic – a non runner on today’s modern scale layouts.  It was black bakelite, cast iron wheels and sounded like a tank but it fired my interest in building my own railway.   He suggested we go and look again at the traders stalls and see it there was on at the show.  To cut a long story short a dealer/trader I trusted was at the zshow and when Sid asked if he had such a model – I could scarcely believe his reply of  “Yes, I have one from the Peter Waterman Collection by Hornby” .

Sid promptly bought it and said that’s yer Christmas…..  What a friend he turned out to be.  He only went and got me out of my depressed state and once again thanks to his generosity 46201 Ex LMS Princess Elizabeth fired up my interest in continuing with an old hobby.

Other  model locomotives have been added since and the layout is evolving.


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Adventures with Susan Part 3B – Deep Seaworld (2005)

As our ramble around Kinross Gardens was a bit too quick and the day was sunny we decided to spend a little time in a cooler place.  After a short discussion we headed for  North Queensferry and Deep Seaworld as Caitlynn and, if truth be known, Susan wanted to walk under the sharks.  So we headed back south and entered the undersea world.

Walter walking under the sharks at Deep SeaWorld

I am saddened to state I have very little memory of the visit, I know I was there and took pictures in very trying conditions.  Susan took a few, one of which is me walking under the sea tunnel with camera glued to eye as I attempted to take pictures.

I do wish I had more memory of the visit and I’m positive we did go back on another day. I do know Caitlynn and Susan were really excited, no surprise there with Caitlynn, but Susan displayed the joy and wonder she felt so openly in her face.  I came to know that look as so often she showed it on our outings, sometimes the simplest thing would light up her face.

One thing – we found Nemo before he was officially lost, as the picture below reveals: (click on image to see album of visit)

Nemo Found

In all we had a good day visiting Kinross House Gardens and Deep SeaWorld.


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Adventures with Susan Part 3a- Kinross House Gardens

Susan, Catelynn and Debbie

Having enjoyed our inauguration adventure on The jacobite we looked forward to our next adventure which turned out to be in two parts.

On this adventure we had the company of my cousin Debbie and her daughter Caitlynn.  I have heard that the days remembered always appear to have been warm and sunny, all I can say is that 7th August 2005 was very hot and sunny.    Our first stop was Kinross House to wander round the formal gardens. I had discovered the gardens some time previously and told Susan about them.  No entry to the house, just the gardens and it was an honesty box system.   I understand that the house and gardens were sold in 2012 and one can no longer visit the gardens.

As you may have noticed Susan had her camera with her and  looking at her archives I found some pictures she took of the day:

Susan was a good photographer but she really enjoyed doing videos.  However she would always take a few shots – but tended to use mine in preference to hers own.

I particularly like this one of my young cousin Caitlynn that she took:

If it is true that one can no longer walk around the garden it is a sad loss. The history of the gardens was interesting as was the layout.  From the garden you could see across Loch Leven to the ruins of Loch Leven Castle

Ruins of Loch Leven Castle

From Wikipedia:

Loch Leven Castle is a ruined castle on an island in Loch Leven, in the Perth and Kinross local authority area of Scotland. Possibly built around 1300, the castle was the location of military action during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296–1357). In the latter part of the 14th century, the castle was granted by his uncle to William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas, and remained in Douglases’ hands for the next 300 years. Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned here in 1567–68, and forced to abdicate as queen, before escaping with the help of her gaoler‘s family. In 1588, the Queen’s gaoler inherited the title Earl of Morton, and moved away from the castle. It was bought, in 1675, by Sir William Bruce, who used the castle as a focal point in his garden; it was never again used as a residence.

Today, the remains of the castle are protected as a scheduled monument in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.[1] Loch Leven Castle is accessible in summer by the public via a ferry.

Click on image to see Album.


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Adventures with Susan – The Jacobite Trip (2005)

Ex-LNER K1 – 62005 “Lord of the Isles”

2005 was a sad year for Susan as her mum had passed away on 25th July.  I Had not been aware of that fact until she returned to work.  During one of our lunch break walks we had touched upon taking a trip together a day out so to speak.  Quite how we decided upon a trip on The Jacobite I am not certain.  Susan had taken her grandkids to see Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter 2) and the segment with crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct had stirred a desire to cross by train.  We agreed to to take a chance and head up to Fort William and see if we could get a ticket.  Our first on many adventures together was on.

Loch Tulla Viewpoint

Loch Tulla Viewpoint and Black Mount

It is said (but not by whom) that everyone experiences a “Perfect Day” once in their life.. Sunday the 31st July 2005 was such a day.  We set off from Livingston at 6:00 am it was a clear day with nary a cloud in the sky.  It takes 3 hours + to get to Fort William allowing for photo stops on the way.  Susan was in good spirits as we set off heading for what would be our usual route to Glencoe.  We stopped at the Loch Tulloch Viewpoint – surprisingly clear of tourists.  I was struck with the cloud formation above the Black Mount as it gave the impression (to me at least) a simmering volcano.  At 8:30 the morning was

Buachaille Etive Mòr

already warm and the day held a lot of promise.  As this was our first trip together, on what would become a regular outing (Glencoe), I did not stop at the layby near Buachaille Etive Mòr as I was not aware of the significance of her to Susan at that time.  However, Susan did get one on the way back. We arrived in plenty of time to be first in line for a ticket (not guaranteed – we learnt from that to always book ahead.)  We were in high spirits, like excited school kids on their first outing.  Looking back, and I may be seeing through rose tinted glasses (makes a change from looking through ones with smears), we were relaxed in each other’s company.  Susan was smiling a lot as she pointed out Ben Nevis and relating her climb with Bob up the mountain.  I was twittering about the history of the line.   At 09:50 we were offered two tickets (Return) and boarded “The Jacobite” for our adventure through the mountains, along the lochs, gullies. cuttings heading to Mallaig behind a living breathing dragon.. oops sorry got carried away with a memory there.

We did a there and back again trip.  Have enjoyed ourselves  exploring Mallaig ie finding an eating place , walking along the harbour and general chit-chat we found we had many things in common as well as many differences, somehow there must have been residual magic from the HP film as we planned our next adventure together.

Album: Click here to see album

My final photo of that trip shows a Susan deep in thought with her reflection on the carriage window.  I would take many pictures of Susan on our adventures and with the Intrepids but this remains special  as I said everyone has at least one perfect day mine went on for 14 years.

Susan Wales Memories

Video


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Adventures with Susan – Beginnings

Susan Wales

Susan Ann Wales 2005

I first met Susan Wales near the start of my Civilian life.  Like all I had a childhood, then reality dawned and childhood ended I began to earn a living, still at home.  I started as a delivery lad for local co-op. then got a Job as messenger at British Rail Hope Street office, thence Signalbox lad at Glasgow Central Signal Box, Trainee Signalman, Porter at Williamswood, finally Passenger Guard (I had just turned 18) at Central Station.  I stayed with British Rail for 3 years then enlisted in the Royal Air Force at the age of 21.  I re-entered civilian life in 1993 and had 3 jobs before I was became temporary maternity cover for Assistant Licensing Officer at West Lothian Council in 1997.  It was there I first met Susan. We chatted as work colleagues do.  She was at that time married to Bob Wales.  Susan was a Legal Assistant, tasked with processing traffic orders and looking after the legal library.   If I recall correctly Bob passed away in December 2003.  Susan then persuaded her mom, Mabel, to move from Manchester and live with her.  During this interlude Susan and I would chat as colleagues and meet at lunch

Bruce Monument – 1

with other friends and colleagues.

Among my many interests was photography, but I was never happy with film.  I could see the picture but no matter what I did it never transcribed to film.  I was always disappointed with the commercial processing, but I had learnt a painful lesson whilst serving at RAF Gan,  photographic chemicals and I do not mix.  Alas my interest waned and eventually died away. 1982 whilst stationed at RAF Stanbridge I became interested in the new fangled toy of the year the personal computer, a love affair which lasts to this day.  Two changes occured in 2005. The first was a spur of the moment purchase of a digital camera a Nikon E2000.  I still have it. My love of photography was re-ignited.  Combined with computer software I could at last get the images I saw and print them myself.  My favourite make of SLR was Pentax so I purchased a Pentax *isDS Digital Single Lens Reflex and began the learning curve of shooting in digital raw and “Developing” on digital software to create my final image.  My first ever digital image was taken on 2nd January 2005 at 15:04:24 at Bannockburn.  The bug had bitten, infected the blood and the brain was seduced…I have discovered digital photography which combined with computer software gave me control over my image processing.

Susan - Glencoe- Buachaille Etive Mòr

Susan on her last visit to Buachaille Etive Mòr

In fact it was photography that really brought Susan and I together.  When I left the RAF I lived with my mother, I had been given a compassionate posting after the death of my father owing to the fcat my mother was elderly and disabled.  This in effect killed any further promotion through the ranks.  As I stated earlier I retired from the RAF in 1993 after 22 years service with the Rank of Corporal.  Hey  I got a pension so I was happy. During the spring – Autumn I would walk to work and had camera with me.  I would stop and photograph flowers, birds trees etc. I was getting used to my camera.  Susan was already an avid photographer with her own Pentax SLR.  She, Bob and one of Bob’s workmates would go up to Glencoe and climb/hill walk – her love of one mountain stemmed from those days – her beloved Buachaille Etive Mòr.

Little did I realise or indeed did Susan, our lunchtime walks and chats were drawing us into a relationship.  Our first adventure was just around the corner or was on track so to speak.

Our Colleagues in 2005

Our Colleagues

 

 

 


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All Change – 12 Months on……

My last blog on the theme all change was on 29th January 2019.  Sitting here today (28th December 2019) I am struggling to find the words within myself to relate what happened over the past 11 months.  In February 2019 my partner Susan was informed that once again she had cancer, but this time it was in the Abdomen walls. She underwent 4 sessions of Chemo in six weeks with the hope that the cancer would be cleared.  In May Susan was once again in hospital with bowel blockage – it was thought the she had impacted feces. It was whilst she was in Ward 11 Western General Hospital that she dropped a bombshell – here follows an extract from her blog for that day:

8/5/2019 Proposed to Walter. He did his impression of a Watership Down rabbit but has accepted.

It just seems the right time. but it seems right that I give him as much public recognition as do my utmost to make the rest of the time we have together filled with good things. The reaction to our news has been totally mind blowing. It should be a great party.  The method of proposal was via a birthday card! 

As Susan was still in hospital I had the task of getting the wedding venue booked, arrange for a licence/registrar – due to her illness the statutory notice requirement was waved.  Whilst I rushed from one task to another, Susan sat and drew up a guest list 60 for the ceremony with an addition 64 for the reception.  Within 3 days I had arranged the Registrar for a Civil (non-religious) ceremony thanks to Debbie Stein Assistant Registrar, West Lothian who would officiate at the ceremony.  A wedding/reception venue a photographer (Eddie Anderson).  The ceremony/reception was to be held at Howden Park Centre – I really lucked in on that choice as I soon found out when I met the event organiser Fiona Wilson. Once I had explained the situation she uttered those magic words – “Leave everything to us – just tell us what you need and then relax”.  All was ready when she came home  on 11th May.  We decided we would make the best of things and take one day at a time.  In fact that became our matra.  Susan planned a family get together at Runcorn to meet up with her extended family which would be special in so many ways.  She had recently been reconciled with her daughter and this was an extra special event.

Susan with big brother Al and Doreen

We had several outings arranged our Devon trip was cancelled but our Roses Rail Tour on 20th – 24th June went ahead. We stayed in Midland Hotel, Bradford ideal for our day trips; Settle to Carlisle (Crossing Ribblehead viaduct) and back, East Lancashire Railway and finally the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. and returned in time for the big day.

The wedding was held on Susan’s birthday 26th June 2019.

26th June 2019  – Wedding of the Year  – Time 11:30 – Susan Wales and I were married my partner of 12 years was now my wife and I her husband.

A total of 124 guests were invited 60 of then for the ceremony (all that the room could hold) and the remaining 64 to join us at the reception.  To say we were overwhelmed would be an understatement.  All but 12 invited guests attend the other 12 had prior commitments but still managed to send congratulations.  Susan was deeply touched and I was gobsmacked.  I knew Susan had many contacts and interests but her network of contacts was extensive throughout the UK.

Our “Honeymoon” was a working one.  Susan’s involvement with Scottish Community Drama (formerly SCDA) had snared me  into taking stage photographs of the last 3 British Finals of the 1-Act Festival.  Susan was going to the latest one to be hosted by All England Theatre and held in Harrogate, I was honoured to be invited to take photos of the event.  Presentation of Awards.  We stayed with a very good Friend Annie Page who provided taxi service and hosted us around the area.  We even got to see the Ribblehead Viaduct from a more flattering view point.

Ribblehead Viaduct

We returned home on 9th July in time for more medical appointments.  On the 26th July Susan was admitted to St John’s Hospital, Howden, Livingston initially Ward 23 MAS and then Ward 25 where she remained until the 26th August when at my request and Susan’s wishes she was allowed home and Palliative care team took over her care at home.  We made two further outings with our good Friend Sid (The Intrepids) on 29th August Susan had a final visit to see her beloved mountain “Buachaille Etive Mòr”

Her final outing, again in the company of Sid and myself, was a trip to Arrochar on 7th September 2019 to see The Cobbler (The Cobbler is a mountain of 884 metres height located near the head of Loch Long in Scotland. Although only a Corbett, it is “one of the most impressive summits in the Southern Highlands”, and is also the most important site for rock climbing in the Southern Highlands. Wikipedia)

Then onto Glen Kinglas to visit a bridge built in 1745 to allow troop movements in the highlands and prevent an uprising -“Butter Bridge” next to the A83:

At 02:29 A.M on Sunday 15th September my wife passed away at home knowing she was loved by many especially me.  I stayed with her holding her hand as he breathed her last, the tears then (as now) streaming down my face. Partner for 12 years, wife for 11 weeks 3 days and my whole life from the day we met.  Her “ceremony of Life” on 25th September was as well attended as our wedding. She was cremated and her ashes will be spread at Glen Etive, Buachaille Etive Mòr and Butter Bridge in spring of 2020.

2019 was a year of changes not all good but certainly life effecting. What about the future?  At present I’m living in the now – the future is a far distant place for me – only time will tell.